Browsing All posts tagged under »History«

Can We Just Get Back to Smiling Normally for Pictures?

June 12, 2017

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Is personal dignity in photographs mortally wounded?  First it was the weird fake gang-like hand signs (or signs that have crass sexual meanings); then it was the ridiculous kissy-face expression which has spawned numerous references to “whores of the Internet,” or “duckfaces.”  It seems that this pose is widely mocked and reviled, but that hasn’t […]

Another Misleading Internet Meme

April 4, 2016

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I’m getting tired of seeing certain Internet memes like this one making the rounds.  Golly, life is so hard and unfair these days.  A 40-hour-a-week job just doesn’t support us anymore.  You know what?  Life IS unfair, but this is not why.  This is something you can actually fix, if you want to.  Yes, there was […]

Can We Just Get Back to Smiling Normally for Pictures?

February 15, 2016

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Lila is swamped with a consulting project, believe it or not.  Meanwhile, enjoy this repeat rant from February of 2014! Is personal dignity in photographs mortally wounded?  First it was the weird fake gang-like hand signs (or signs that have crass sexual meanings); then it was the ridiculous kissy-face expression which has spawned numerous references […]

On the Death of Beautiful Handwriting

February 8, 2016

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Handwriting is made beautiful by who the writers are to us:  parents, lovers, ancestors.  It is a very real, personal, physical link across miles and across generations.  The death of cursive handwriting deprives us of more than we realize. Just recently, a cousin asked for the family to correspond with her adult son, who was […]

Joan Larsen Presents: There Was a War, A Great War, and Now it is Over

November 11, 2015

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By Joan Larsen From the collection War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence From American Wars, by Andrew Carroll, 2002:   Aboard the SS Regina   Dear Mother and Father, Now that it is all over, what is there to look back upon? The fifteen months in France have been like a book with strange chapters, a book […]

Teen Pregnancy: The Old, Old Story

September 21, 2015

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It is the old, old story. Young love, flaring passions, secret, unprotected sex… an unintended pregnancy… and life-changing consequences.  Adolescence instantaneously ends, and two young people are flung, unprepared, into adulthood. Here is a glimpse backward at how things once were… A far cry from how they are today. Just some food for thought. A […]

The Paternoster Elevator: You’ll Never See This in the US

August 31, 2015

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This recent article about Germany’s paternoster elevators brought back a lot of memories! It seems that the German government was pushing to shut down the few remaining paternosters as a safety hazard (and as you read on, you may agree with them!), but German citizens pushed back just as hard to save the quirky elevators, […]

Dorothy Stewart McElhaney: Best Obit EVER

August 17, 2015

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A friend pointed out this obituary, which appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch last Tuesday. We have written previously that what matters in life is what you can pack into that little dash that appears between your birth date and your death date. Well, what a jam-packed dash this lady had, and what wit and humor! […]

“The Eagle Has Landed.” The 46th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

July 20, 2015

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Lila remembers it, but was roundly unimpressed at the time. In my memory, the first moon landing is inextricably linked to my mother’s death. She died suddenly on 13 July 1969, while we were living abroad in South America. Three days later, on 16 July, the astronauts launched. I think I was aware of it; […]

Bridge the Divide Between Young and Old: Write a Book For Your Family

September 15, 2014

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It never fails that at family reunions, the “old folks” are sitting around reminiscing about grade school and about people that the younger folks have never even heard of, much less met, and maybe the time that old Fred turned the school bus over in that ditch down by Carl’s place. The young think it’s […]

How Can Atheists be “Offended” By the Ground Zero Cross?

June 23, 2014

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Because some atheists are zealots… yes, just like religious zealots. I think we all know by now that Lila is a bona fide agnostic, doesn’t pray, and loathes attending church (although she will grit her teeth and attend to support friends at key moments like weddings, memorials, and the like). If you want to torture […]

Juneteenth

June 19, 2014

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By Henry Louis Gates Jr. “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between […]

Can We Just Get Back to Smiling Normally for Pictures?

February 10, 2014

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Is personal dignity in photographs mortally wounded?  First it was the weird fake gang-like hand signs (or signs that have crass sexual meanings); then it was the ridiculous kissy-face expression which has spawned numerous references to “whores of the Internet,” or “duckfaces.”  It seems that this pose is widely mocked and reviled, but that hasn’t […]

The German American Bund: Our Forgotten Embarrassment

November 8, 2013

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Back in 1936, with Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of an increasingly powerful and nationalistic Germany, Rudolf Hess authorized the formation of the Friends of New Germany in the United States.  As that name was soon deemed insufficiently patriotic toward America, the organization was redesignated as the German American Bund.  The purpose was to promote favorable […]

Endlessly Interesting Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

September 26, 2013

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Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in Tucson, Arizona, has history.  Its opening ceremonies were conducted in 1924 by none other than Charles Lindbergh.  It has history for Lila, too:  its mission is “to deploy, employ and sustain expeditionary combat and combat support forces while enabling critical JFACC and HLS operations.”  In keeping with that mission, the […]

Did a Third Reich Photo Slip Into The Weather Channel’s Vintage Beachwear Slideshow?

June 21, 2013

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Happy Friday, all.  School’s out, summer has arrived with the Solstice, and it’s a perfect day to contemplate… the history of swimsuit fashions.  Check out more than 350 vintage beach photos in this slideshow at the Weather Channel online. I am a little surprised by just how revealing those clingy wool knits could be on […]

Historymaker: Astronaut Valentina Tereshkova

June 18, 2013

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Fifty years ago, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova became the world’s first woman in space. She was 26 years old, from peasant stock; her father was a tractor driver who died on the frozen Finnish front in World War II, and her mother was a factory worker; Valentina herself was also a factory worker. Ah, but a […]

Future Scholars Discover Trove of Early-21st-Century Correspondence: OMG!

February 15, 2013

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Our Valentine’s Week of Letters is drawing to a close today.  We have celebrated the beauty, durability, and deep sentiment of the hand-written word, and we have lamented the impending loss of it now that schools are no longer teaching cursive.  Much of today’s youth sees no reason to master any form of handwriting, eschewing […]

On The Beauty of the Hand-Written Letter

February 11, 2013

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I have mentioned previously that my Great-Grandfather served in World War One.  At one time, young Ted Roosevelt, the former President’s eldest son, served under his command.  My ancestor thought highly of him, and wrote to the former President telling him so.  Teddy Roosevelt showed his appreciation for this scarce and personal wartime news by […]

The Eloquence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 21, 2013

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I am struck sometimes by the eloquence of our forebears, by their mastery of language, the dignity of their expression, their ability to use their words to persuade and convince. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 84th birthday, here is his most famous speech, delivered 28 August, 1963 in the measured cadence of a […]

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter – Seriously?

April 16, 2012

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I went and saw Cabin in the Woods over the weekend, but let’s leave that for another time.  What really caught my attention was one of the previews:  Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Seriously?  There is so much just wrong with this.  Lincoln was a real person, not some mythical or fictional figure to bend and […]